The Nevada State Athletic Commission has changed its tune on marijuana use.
Members of the NSAC board voted unanimously to have marijuana removed from the banned list for athletes. Back in January, USADA announced it will no longer punish fighters for marijuana use. Like the USADA rule change, the NSAC has the right to remove a fighter who appears to be impaired on fight night due to marijuana or alcohol use.
The UFC Senior VP of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, took to his Twitter account to react to the news.
“How about that! NSAC no longer sanctioning for marijuana. Crazy that in my tenure with UFC I’ve seen NSAC try to suspend Nick Diaz for life for marijuana, to this. Big credit to Exec Director Bob Bennett for spearheading this change. Just don’t show up to fight impaired!”
Stephen Cloobeck, the NSAC chairman, said the following during a meeting (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“We should be always at the forefront of these issues, and I believe it’s warranted and merited since it is legal in this state. I think we need to jump forward being the leader as we’ve always been.”
Fighters will continue to be tested for marijuana for the next six months. This will be done for the purpose of data collection. Once the six months have passed, the NSAC will decide whether or not further data collection is necessary.
The new rule change has already gone into effect. Fighters who were punished in the past for marijuana use will not see those suspensions and fines go away.
Gillian Robertson and Misha Cirkunov, both UFC fighters, were suspended and fined for marijuana use after the new rule was put into place. This is due to the fact that both fighters were flagged before the rule change and since the new policy lacks retroactivity, Robertson and Cirknov weren’t spared.
Robertson can return to action on August 10, while Cirkunov can step back inside the Octagon on September 13.